6605 Student Safety Walking, Biking, and Riding Buses to School

The district will adopt a comprehensive school trip safety program that addresses bus safety, walking, and biking route plans; vehicle access to the school; circulation and parking at the school; pedestrian circulation on and around the school campus; and safety education and enforcement.
A.   Safety Advisory Committee
The superintendent will establish a Safety Advisory Committee (SAC) pursuant to WAC 392-151-017 to develop and maintain a comprehensive school trip safety program. The committee will also develop and maintain the school patrol program in compliance with RCW 46.61.385 and review and approve each school’s Safe Routes to School plan. The superintendent will develop specific responsibilities and reporting relationships of the committee, including how the SAC relates to individual school safety programs.
B.   Bus Safety
The superintendent will develop written rules establishing the procedures for bus safety, emergency exit drills, and student conduct while riding on buses. The procedures for bus safety will include rules restricting bus access to students and those persons authorized by the superintendent and/or his or her designee(s) to ride the bus to and from any school activity.
The bus driver is responsible for the safety of his/her passengers, particularly for those who cross a roadway after leaving the bus. No bus driver will order or allow a student to disembark at other than his/her customary boarding or alighting place unless so authorized by the superintendent. In order to assure the safety of all, the bus driver may hold students accountable for their conduct during the course of transportation and may recommend corrective action against a student. Bus drivers are expressly prohibited from using corporal punishment. Bus drivers are expressly prohibited from allowing anyone to board the bus who is not a student or a person authorized to ride the bus by the superintendent and/or his or her designee(s). 
C.   Emergencies
In the event of an accident or other emergency, the bus driver will follow the emergency procedures in accordance with the School Bus Driver Handbook (SPI). A copy of the emergency procedures will be located in each bus. To ensure the success of such emergency procedures, each bus driver will conduct an emergency evacuation drill within the first six weeks of each school semester. The district will conduct such other drills and procedures as may be necessary.
D.   Student Conduct On Buses
The superintendent will establish written rules of conduct for students riding school buses. Such rules will include as a minimum the requirements of WAC 392-145-021 and will be reviewed annually by the superintendent and revised if necessary. If the rules are substantially revised, they will be submitted to the Board for approval.
At the beginning of each school year, a copy of the rules of conduct for students riding buses will be provided to each student who is scheduled to ride a school bus. The classroom teacher and/or bus driver will review the rules with the students at or near the beginning of each school year. A copy of the rules will be available to the public.
E.   Safe Routes To School Plan 
Pursuant to WAC 392-151-025, all elementary schools that have students who walk to and from school are required to develop a suggested route plan.  All schools are encouraged to have a walking/biking route plan in place.  To develop the school walking/biking route plans, the superintendent or designee will establish a Safe Routes to School committee. 
The superintendent or designee will review the plan with the Safety Advisory Committee and, upon its approval, distribute the plan to all students with instructions that it be taken home and discussed with parents. The plan will be routinely updated as conditions change.
Legal References:
RCW 28A.600.010 Enforcement of rules of conduct — Due process guarantees — Computation of days for short-term and long-term suspensions
RCW 46.61.385 School patrol — Appointment — Authority — Finance — Insurance
WAC 392-144 School Bus Driver Qualifications
WAC  392-145-016 Rules for students riding school buses
WAC 392-145-021 General operating requirements
WAC 392-151-017 Safety advisory committee - Selection
WAC 392-151-025 plans
WAC 392-400-225 School district rules defining misconduct — Distribution of rules
Adoption Date: 12/11/73
Franklin Pierce Schools
Revised: 12/9/08; 4/9/13; 12/9/14
Classification: Priority